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Service Learning Implementation as a Graduation Requirement Service Learning Advisory Board Proposal Presented By: Tom Rust Kathy Kotecki Service Learning Co-Coordinators. Service Learning….How does it connect?

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Service Learning

Implementation as a Graduation Requirement

Service Learning Advisory Board Proposal

Presented By:

Tom Rust

Kathy Kotecki

Service Learning Co-Coordinators

Service Learning….How does it connect?

Service Learning enhances MSU Billings Core Purpose, Mission, and Core Values By:

Engaging in civic responsibility

Providing exceptional and excellent teaching

Promoting intellectual, cultural, social and economic community enhancement

Translating practice into knowledge

Accepting leadership for intellectual, cultural, social and

economic development beyond University Boundaries

Service Learning at MSU Billings

Service learning is an educational experience and a teaching method that focuses on learning through community projects. Projects enable students to apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to benefit the community while students gain a deeper understanding of course content and the importance of civic engagement.


Project must be strongly connected to course objectives.

Project is required of all students and is clearly outlined in the syllabus.

Project benefits the community.

Project is academically rigorous.

Formal Reflection is deliberate.

Formal assessment – grade is based on learning, not service.

A goal is to promote civic engagement.

A Service Learning Requirement at MSU Billings:

Universal Opportunities and Challenges



University image

Giving back to the taxpayers of Montana


Faculty buy-in

Student credit issues






Survey of Required Service Learning Paradigms

General Education Requirement – Specific Classes already in Gen Ed

General Education Requirement – Separate Category with multiple options (credit and co-curricular options)

General Education Requirement – Separate Category Specific Classes for Service Learning

Graduation Requirement with specific class options (de facto gen ed)

Graduation Requirement – Credit/Non-Credit Options

Major Requirement

General Education + Major Requirement

Service Learning Credit Options

Created by the Service Learning Advisory Board

(the beginning of a campus wide dialog)

Continue building and implementing

Service Learning within courses through all

colleges and departments as we currently do!

Option 1

Faculty who are currently teaching with a Service Learning Component increase the class credit by 1 (a 3 credit class becomes a 4 credit class)


Faculty will have more teaching time in their course

Faculty may be more inclined to do this


All Service Learning might not warrant an extra credit – would add more time

All Service Learning isn’t equal – who decides

Budget implications (staff resources)

Extra tuition expenses for students (if not in flat spot)

Option 2

Use the existing 1 credit ASC 297 Service Learning Course and require all freshmen to take it as part of Academic Foundations.


All freshmen would be exposed to Service Learning right from the beginning of their college experience

Retention tool

This experience could be a starting point in building many service learning experiences for them during the duration of their experience at MSUB

Could produce a large increase in enrollment – help FTE


Credit loads for students – for example, COE students have no room within their courses for an extra credit

Human/Financial Resources

Transfer students would not necessarily transfer in with a Service Learning Course to cover this requirement

Quality of student skills and motivation for the project

Community partner fatigue

Option 2A

Add an additional credit to the ASC 101 course (College Success Strategies) so the course becomes 2 credits with a Service Learning Component – required for all freshmen


Same as Option 2


Same as Option 2

Option 3

Identify “Capstone” Courses in (most) majors and add an additional 1 cr. Service Learning component (this includes the COT) including a specifically non-major option


More advanced/higher skill set – can contribute more to community

Students may benefit more – Community Partners get more benefit

Most majors can do this

4 cr. rewards faculty effort/attract more FTE


How to combine with existing Co-op Ed internships

Could be a choice


Faculty loads

Staffing for Admin

Re-defining SL

Option 4

Create a Capstone required course that is not specific to a major that has a SL component (for example – a business student could do their SL capstone project in a course related to Public Relations if they have interest in that area); look at ways to incorporate SL into an internship (for example – an accounting student could do a 3 credit internship at KPMG and then do an extra 1 credit Service Learning experience using their accounting skills for a non-profit).


Same as Option 3 plus….

More flexible for students

Increase FTE in SL courses

Creates more well-rounded, employable students

Increase student interest and motivation


Drawback existing internship model – internships do not equal Service Learning

Re-defining SL

Miss out on cooperative engagement with other students

Expected skill set in another major is missing

Option 5

Provide the Service Learning requirement to be fulfilled throughout the students experience (not just tied to freshmen or senior year) – build on what we are currently doing and make it part of the culture of MSUB.


‘nuff said


We aren’t there yet.

The Beginning of the DISCUSSSION:

Ideas for models and ways to implement Service Learning

Next Steps:

Idea - Service Learning Strategic Planning Session in May


Dept Chairs

Current/Interested SL faculty

Service Learning Advisory Board

Community Partners